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The Members of the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association - HELMEPA elected a new Board of Directors during their 24th Annual General Assembly on Thursday, 30 March 2006. The Secretary General of IMO Mr. Efthimios Mitropoulos, as the Association's honorary guest, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Mercantile Marine, the Secretary General of Ports and Harbour Policy, the Leadership of the Coast Guard, the Ambassador of Mexico, a Representative of the US Embassy, as well as representatives of other associations and organisations honoured the Assembly with their presence.

In his speech Mr. Mitropoulos said: "it gives me great pleasure to have the opportunity to deliver a brief address on the occasion of the 24th General Assembly of HELMEPA, an organization the values of which I fully embrace and its work I admire". He then went on to highlight the following:

  • Even though IMO and HELMEPA approach the problems of shipping from different angles, their main objectives remain the training of seafarers and the sensitization of society on environmental problems.

  • Only recently we started realizing that our acts have an impact on the environment we live in and that thoughtless environmental management has devastating consequences for all of us now and in the future.

  • The people of Greek Shipping, in 1982, were far-sighted and visionaries, since with the creation of HELMEPA they clearly preceded their era.

  • The distinctive character of HELMEPA results from the fact that its heart and soul emanate from the shipping industry itself.

  • The mission of HELMEPA — to create, instill and cultivate an environmental consciousness and sensitivity throughout Shipping — supplements ideally the work of IMO and sets an example to others.

Closing, he referred to the activities of HELMEPA and the creation of INTERMEPA and other MEPAs in various parts of the world.

HELMEPATs Director General asked Mr. Mitropoulos to present an honorary diploma to the departing Board member Mr. Manolis Kavousanakis, who was also granted the title of Honorary Member. Mr. Kavousanakis, after thanking the Assembly for honouring him, asked his younger counterparts to continue this effort so that one day they will also feel as proud as he does today for the work of HELMEPA.

An honorary diploma was also presented to Mr. Nikos Tsakos, who was the Chairman of HELMEPA for four years, served as a Board member for many years and contributed along with his family to the activities of the Association. The diploma was presented to him by the Secretary General, Mr. Nikos Tsavliris who thanked both Mr. Tsakos for his contribution, succeeding in the Board his father Captain Panagiotis Tsakos, as well as his family and especially for offering a building to HELMEPA.

Following, the Director General presented an honorary diploma to Mr. Spiros Mavrikis, honorary member of HELMEPA and departing member of the Board, for his contribution to the Association right from the start of its creation.

The members of the new Board of Directors declared that they will work together for HELMEPA’s benefit.

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This year's Exhibition coincided with the celebration of the World Environment Day, giving in this way a different dimension to the presentation of the maritime industry's initiatives for technological advancement, innovation and improvement of services with a contemporary respect to the environment.

On the same day, HELMEPA celebrated its 24 years of operation within the Greek maritime community and in parallel, the official establishment of INTERMEPA, the International Marine Environment Protection Association was announced. Its founding members AUSMEPA, CYMEPA, HELMEPA, TURMEPA co-signed the Constitution, according to which the new Association will operate in Greece served by HELMEPA's Secretariat.

Following the signing of INTERMEPA's Constitution, our members Germanischer Lloyd first and then Alpha Bank became the first sponsors to support the new Association. In particular, Dr. Hermann Klein of Germanischer Lloyd announced that for each ship that joins GL flying a flag of one of the countries that created INTERMEPA, a donation will be made to the newly-founded Association.

In his short address, the Secretary General of I MO Efthimios Mitropoulos underlined the importance of INTERMEPA for the international maritime community, whilst the Chairman of HELMEPA Nicky Pappadakis thanked the Livanos family for its continuous support to the Association's work and for kindly offering this reception.

«It is unfair that people on land don't know that shipping is responsible only for 10% of marine pollution, while the remaining 90% originates from land-based activities» said, among other, Mr. Pappadakis and closing he requested from all present to project HELMEPA's message that «the environment is the true inheritance we will leave to our children».

Both at HELMEPA's stand, which was kindly offered by Posidonia Exhibitions SA, and the stands of other member companies and organizations, we had the opportunity to exchange views and begin cooperation with entities such as Germanischer Lloyd and BIMCO.


The International Exhibition ODESSA 212, taking place at the Exhibition Center of the Port of Odessa, is concluded today. HELMEPA participates in the Exhibition following the offer gratis of a stand by the Organizers.

In the Exhibition, organized for the 10th consecutive year, the participation counts 140 exhibitors from Ukraine and other countries and includes associations of ship-building and ship-repairing companies, ship equipment manufacturers, port authorities, managing companies, maritime Academies and others.

HELMEPA participated also in the parallel Conference titled "Transport Strategy formation of Ukraine", with the presentation of its aims and activities as well as the globalisation of the initiative through INTERMEPA.

The aim of H ELM EPA's participation is to spread the voluntary commitment philosophy and to work towards the creation of a similar Marine Environment Protection Association in Ukraine, a country with strong historical and economic ties to Greece. Ukraine is directly linked with the Greek shipping industry especially through the provision of crews, the ship-building/ship-repairing activity and the operation of a large number of ports in the Black Sea.

Members of HELMEPA staff also visited the Demonstration Unit of the Globallast Program (ballast water management) of IMO and UNDP, which is hosted at the Center for Information and Maritime Safety Analysis of the Ministry of Transport in Odessa. The port of Odessa has been selected by IMO as one of the 6 ports in the world for the scientific research and demonstration of the Globallast Program with the aim to "eliminate the obstacles for the effective implementation of ballast water management measures in the developing countries".

It is worth noting that the Black Sea remains one of the most heavily polluted marine ecosystems as it has the largest watershed basin in the world (2 million sq. km.), its waters are renewed every 1450 years and is an area of heavy shipping traffic.


For the 23rd consecutive year, HELMEPA continues to offer its member-companies' Merchant Marine officers and staff simple and current education aiming at pollution prevention and safety at sea.

This educational initiative justifies the founders of the association, as from 1983 to date 14,894 Greek seafarers have participated in the annual Programs, whilst HELMEPA's associate members continue to substantially support this activity.

The title of the Program for 2006 is:
«Meeting the Challenge of Safe, Secure and Efficient Ships in Clean Seas»
Existing and forthcoming legislative requirements, the needs of our members and now the experience and support of Germanischer Lloyd, one of the oldest HELMEPA associate members, constitute the basis of the Program.
In 20 four-day seminars, lecturers from within the Greek and the wider shipping community, experts in their field, will be presenting the 24 contemporary topics.

The 1st day of the seminars titled «Dealing with Pollutants in the Sea and in the Air» involves topics related to coastal zone and oceans, ballast water management, ship's coatings, oil spill mitigation, air pollution and environmental damage in connection to marine insurance.
The 2nd day titled «Dealing with Port State Control» presents the topics documents onboard, incidents cause analysis, controls measurements for risk management, vessel's Class survey, implementation of the Ship Security Plan as well as the risk of detentions and how to reduce it.
The 3rd day titled «Dealing with Emergencies» includes the topics fire fighting, safety of navigation, damage stability, life saving equipment, emergency in the engine room as well as security breaches and piracy attacks.
The 4th and last day of the seminars is titled «Completing Successfully Operations at Sea and in Port» and the topics presented are the Table top exercise of an emergency, which was highly popular during the last two years that was included in the Training Program, cargo handling procedures, radio communications, ship/port interface and finally security compliance.

Participants will be provided with Notes on the subjects, while those having participated during all four days of the seminar will receive HELMEPA's Certificate of Attendance in English.
Presented in the section «Timetable» are the details of the Program, which runs between 24 January 2006 and 15 December 2006, with a break between July and August.

HELMEPA thanks Germanischer Lloyd and their executive staff, all lecturers, the organizations they come from and the member-companies hosting the seminars for their contribution.

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